In January we posted about ways to unplug from the constant bombardment of our increasingly digital world. Now it’s May…. Have you managed to take any of the suggestions? If reading the how didn’t get you putting the electronic assault aside, read on to find out why doing so has such importance for health and overall quality of life.
- Use of technology has reached the level of addiction. To put it in numbers, 84 percent of cellphone users said they couldn’t go a day without it. And 67 percent check their phones for messages or alerts even when they haven’t heard or felt the signal. We constantly talk about how our brains can’t seem to “switch off,” but we balk at the very idea of tearing ourselves away from the numerous screens that have become a daily part of our lives. (Admit it — you’ve taken your phone to the bathroom just to get that extra little session in.)
- Unplugging retrains our brains. Our brains were never meant to function constantly or take in as much information as our devices make available to us. The brain needs to “power down” as well. Some scientists suggest that constant screen usage lowers empathy in kids (for example, if they see violence all the time, they develop the sense that this is “normal”); social media may promote narcissism (certain celebrities leap to mind); and smartphones may cause insomnia (especially if you plug your phone in near your bed and hear all the pings that come through at all hours). Unplug for positive results: Reduce the amount of over-stimulation and provide our brains with the necessary time to focus longer and more deeply.
- Unplugging affords us the time and emotional energy to connect others. Remember actually having conversations? And noticing birds and incredible cloud formations in the sky (and oncoming traffic)? We have our faces so buried in our screens and phones that the U.S. has begun to fine people for texting while walking due to the increase of pedestrian-car collisions. And while you may have hundreds of “friends” on social media, most of those exchanges involve only surface-level connections. These are not the sort of friendships that actually enhance our lives, help develop us, and allow us to truly connect and empathize with others. Unplug, engage.
- Unplugging helps you focus. Despite its prevalence, multitasking really doesn’t work. In fact, those who consider themselves the best at it tend to do the worst when actually tested. When the brain is constantly distracted by technology, it begins to display characteristics similar to ADHD. Basically the mental commotion caused by technology makes it difficult for us to focus on a project, one topic at a time, and see the task through to the end. The brain requires quiet, focused time to process thoughts. Unplug, enjoy.
Now that you’ve read this post, turn away from your screen for the next fifteen minutes or so. Do what you can to regain inner peace, focus, health, and relationships. “Everything” will still be there when you turn your gadgets back on. For more information, reach out to our experienced staffing team at Medical Professionals.
Leave a Reply